Luge Canada

Austria conquers, Canada finishes 7th and 15th in men's luge doubles

By Rob Vanstone, Canwest Olympic Team

WHISTLER, B.C. — Considering their surname, the Austrian brother tandem of Linger and Linger was a natural to repeat.

Andreas and Wolfgang Linger won their second successive Winter Olympics men's doubles title on Wednesday at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Afterwards, they draped an Austrian flag over themselves — not an unexpected gesture, considering that Andreas was his country's flag-bearer at the opening ceremonies.

"For sure, we at least will have a little party,' Wolfgang Linger said. "Maybe it will become huge.'

The Lingers became the second team to record an Olympic double in doubles. Hans Rinn and Norbert Hahn of Germany won gold medals in 1976 and 1980. With that in mind, will the Lingers aim for an unprecedented third men's doubles gold medal four years henceforth in Sochi, Russia?

"We are happy we won today,' Wolfgang Linger said. "Of course, we want to continue. Our next target is the world championships and the World Cup, but of course we think of 2014.'

The Lingers won four years ago in Turin, Italy, even though Wolfgang had pins in his left leg after fracturing an ankle at an Olympic test event in 2005.

"It's a dream come true, four years later,' said Andreas, 28, who is one year older than Wolfgang. "We had a new start this week and had to deal with it. We tried and it worked. To make the second run better than the first run is good for us.

"We have worked hard for this. We have a great team around us, great coaches, great surroundings and training. It's great to win gold again.'

The Lingers posted times of 41.332 and 41.373 seconds, pacing the field on both runs. Their total time of one minute 22.705 seconds put them ahead of Latvian silver medallists Andris and Juris Sics (1:22.969) and the German tandem of Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch (1:23.040). The Germans were competing together for the last time.

"The bronze medal is like a gold medal for us,' Leitner said.

The Calgary-based brother act of Chris and Mike Moffat was seventh (1:23.398). Tristan Walker and Justin Snith, both of Calgary, were 15th among 20 teams (1:24.220).